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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just bought latest issue of Autocar. So, here is the info they give:

M6
500bhp v10 from m5 (NOT 550)
7-speed smg from m5
0-60 about 4.5sec
top speed 180mph
BMW also developing convertible M6
no cls version before 2007

M3
4-door
4.0 v8 400bhp based on m5
7-speed smg from m5
0-60 about 5.0sec
no "4-series" title for cabrio, they stick to 3-series

Z4M
4.0 v8 however may not get 400bhp
 

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I would think that a 400hp M3 would be considerably faster than 0-60mph in 5 secs, as the current 333hp M3 is slightly faster than this.

I also would like to know what BMW's view is on hardtop convertibles ala the Mercedes SL and Lexus SC 430. From what I can tell, the downside of hardtops is that they consume more trunk space and weigh a bit more than canvas roofs. However, the hardtops appear far better in all other respects.

Jerry, what is your view as an owner of the SL 55, Z8 and (formerly) M3 cabrio?

Tom
 

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This is inline with my readings also.

Tom,
We love the retractible hardtop. Its a true coupe or conv. at the touch of a button. I suspect BMW and the other makes will eventually have to offer this- once you try it- you are spoiled. That said, BMW has pointed out the downsides of this kind of top:

*higher bellt line required
*top down drunk space limited
*weight

on the higher belt line, this is largely a non issue with the newer styling as the whole industry has gone to it. People want safety and higher belt lines+smaller windows= greater sense of safety (right or wrong). This was discussed by BMW when we asked why no retractable roof for the Z8. Those lovely, delicate lines could never accommodate the system. I also love the SL styling, but I don't think I could call it delicate. Its certainly a great looking car, and its actually fairly low, but those shut lines required do take away from it.

With the top down, the trunk space in the SL is probably about 1/2 that in the Z8. A big concern? Probably not.

The SL55 weighs around 8-900lbs more than the Z8, I have no doubt the top and its mechanism contribute to it, but I think most of the weight penalty is due to the beefed up mechanicals that are needed to handle all that torque. If I was racing a SL55 in the Z8, the only place I could take him/her is from a start. After that the SL just pulls harder (although the Z8 is loads more fun).

So with the ever increasing power output, higher belt lines, light weight materials, more people being exposed to the "have your cake and eat it too" nature of the folding hardtop, I just don't think a premium manufacturer like BMW can not offer this in the next generation. For now, they can cite weight and the excitement over the new engine alone will carry the day.

I'm glad they are building a M6 Cab, but they have lost me with the SMG only policy.

Btw- I think the Z4 M will be a wild car- if its got less power, I bet its due to marketing or plumbing issues.
 

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Unless the weight of the new M3 has increased substantially, I'd expect the 0-60 times to be far below, (relatively), the quoted 5.0.
With SMG III and 400 bhp, surely the car will obtain 0-60 in 4.5 - 4.8 seconds, especially with launch control engaged.
 

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Could be tire traction issues? But lets face it, would a 0-60 of 5 sec vs. a 0-60 of 4.7 sec make or break a M3 purchase? Hopefully not, as the M3 (and all M cars) has always been about much more than benchmark numbers.
 

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Both options (hard top and soft top) are developped in parallel and there is no final decision taken, which option will make it.

My personal favourite is a good soft top, because of the advantages outlined above. Especially because of weight, because everyone wants heavy-weight extras and then everyone is disappointed about bad nordschleife performance.

Current soft tops are very good with regard to isolation, noise etc. and are fine for me.

And I find it interesting that so many Mercedes SL and SLK drive with closed roof when there is very nice weather. I assume it's because of limited trunk space.

I would like to go for an M Roadster as my next car. Is there any further information provided in AutoCar?
 

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I wonder how the M6 will manage 4.5sec 0 - 100km/h, considering it will be about the same weight as the M5 (645Ci and 545i not much difference in weight). Can't wait!!!

I'm tempted also with the M Z4. Not the 400bhp? Could this be because BMW wants to release the M Z4 BEFORE the M3 to compete with the SLK55AMG? It makes sense to release the M Z4 soon, but obviously it's the M3 who is the star using the 400bhp.
 

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How much additional weight is involved in the hardtop given that a softop convertible already carries about a 350lb penalty? While the real glass rear window and double hull canvas of the 3 and 6 series are better than traditional ragtops, the hardtops are still far better in terms of noise with the top on.

Since I have many cars, I can deal with more limited trunk space and would like the extra versatility of the hardtop, though I admit that I have my top down over 95% of the time in my softop right now.

My guess is that hardtops will become increasingly preferred, especially in high-end convertibles.

Tom
 

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Cabrios are not for men with too little hair or women with too much, or anyone that cares terribly much.

I don't fall into any of those categories.

Tom
 

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Doesn't a folding hardtop also depend on the size of the chassis? The 6 series chassis of that size is too big for a folding hardtop? I think they should definitely go a hardtop fold on the 3 series and future Z models.
 

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Another question I have beyond what additional weight, if any, a hardtop convertible has over the double-hulled softops of the BMW 3 and 6, is does the hardtop offer any additional stiffness/support?

Tom
 

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M6 Forever said:
I wonder how the M6 will manage 4.5sec 0 - 100km/h, considering it will be about the same weight as the M5 (645Ci and 545i not much difference in weight). Can't wait!!!

I'm tempted also with the M Z4. Not the 400bhp? Could this be because BMW wants to release the M Z4 BEFORE the M3 to compete with the SLK55AMG? It makes sense to release the M Z4 soon, but obviously it's the M3 who is the star using the 400bhp.
If BMW would release a Z4M before the E90(?) M3, then why haven't we seen more pictures of test mules? I can remember seeing one or two pictures, and that was already a few months ago. We've even seen possible E90 M3 test mules and the regular E90 3-series isn't on the market yet. This all seems to be very strange to me, so I'm still doubting about a possible Z4M.
 

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just to let you know ,just bought an AMG SL55 to keep me going tiil the m6 arrives ,or the 997tt whichever comes first,the boot space considering the hardtop is amazing,and very useable even with the roof down.I can literally fit 4-5 times the stuff i got in the 996tt in the car,and the hardtop is a piece of wonder.
 

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Mark,
Isnt that car like having your cake and eating it too? Sure its not as communicative and sporting as a Porsche, but its got other virtues and it has tire shredding torque. Its a shame it does not come with a limited slip diff. I love driving ours- when I can get it away from the better half. I love it- one minute its a hot convertible- the next its your own private road jet.

Tom,
The top adds nothing to the structure. It cannot. If it did, the car would be less secure with the top down. I don't think many consumers would appreciate that. As it is, it feels very, very secure and safe. Is it in reality? I hope to never find out.
 
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